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Suge Knight Gets a New Defense Attorney

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former rap mogul Suge Knight has a new attorney after parting ways with a criminal defense lawyer who has been representing him in his robbery and murder cases.

Already facing life in prison on a murder charge, Knight appeared at the criminal court in downtown Los Angeles Thursday on charges that he and comedian Micah "Katt" Williams stole a photographer's camera outside a Beverly Hills studio in 2014.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen continued a pretrial hearing to March 23 but cleared the courtroom to conduct an ex parte hearing with Knight, his lawyer Thomas Mesereau and prosecutors.

Mesereau later emerged from the courtroom and responded to inquires with a terse "no comment."

The court's public information office confirmed Stephen Schwartz is the attorney of record and that Mesereau is no longer representing Knight.

Schwartz was present during the hearing.

Since prosecutors charged Knight with murder he has been represented by five attorneys including James Blatt, David Kenner, Matthew Fletcher, Thaddeus Culpepper - who is still part of his legal team - and Mesereau.

When asked if he was representing Knight, Schwartz told Courthouse News during a phone interview, "As of this moment I am but it's not been finalized."

He said he expected to learn more at another closed session in Coen's courtroom on Friday morning.

In a separate charge, Knight, whose real name is Marion Hugh Knight Jr., is accused of murdering Terry Carter, 55, and critically injuring Cle Denyale "Bone" Sloan, who had worked as an adviser on the movie "Straight Outta Compton."

The incident allegedly occurred after Knight showed up uninvited to a promotional shoot for the film.

Hip hop legends Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were in the area filming a promo for the summer box office hit, a fictional biopic about their gangster rap group N.W.A.

A hearing in the murder case is scheduled for Feb. 26 in Coen's courtroom.

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